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Special needs provision to forge ahead

Published Monday, 15 September 2014

Plans to provide up to much needed places for children with special educational needs in Enfield will forge ahead after they were given the green light last week. (Thursday 11 September).

Enfield Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee unanimously agreed the decision to take a two year lease out at Minchenden School to educate children with autism and similar conditions after the decision was called in by opposition councillors.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services and Protection, Cllr Ayfer Orhan, said: “This is the best site in the borough for children with autism and will ensure they will get the support and education they need to achieve their potential in superb educational facilities.

“We are committed to providing enough school places for all our school children in high quality buildings which meet their needs and the lease of Minchenden School will mean we can shortly accommodate up to 70 children with autism on the site.

"I’m really excited about this plan, it is something we have put in place for the right reasons. It is an opportunity to meet the needs of some of our most marginalised and vulnerable young people in the borough in a fantastic educational setting.“

The need for places for children with special educational needs in Enfield has increased significantly since 2010, from 484 to 602 and the growth in the number of children with autism is a concern in Enfield because even though the council has increased provision in mainstream and special schools a growing number of people require specialist places.

The cost of educating a single young person with autism outside of the borough is estimated to be in the region of £70-80,000 per year, Enfield Council estimates the lease signed for the Minchenden School site will save the borough money which can be invested back into other services for vulnerable children and young people.


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